Global leaders often want to have their products and services in as many parts of the world as possible.
Despite applying an approach that has been validated in the market of origin, many fail within a few months of market entry. In fact, I was surprised to learn that a whopping 85% of internationalization efforts fail.
What is going wrong?
A crucial step in preparing to go global is a localized marketing strategy. Companies do an in-depth analysis of the market, the demographics, needs and opportunities, and then try to push their product out if they see a fit. It all seems straightforward, but something’s missing.
In most cases, cultural context is a blindside.
Intercultural elements are not taken into consideration or are only touched upon superficially.
In order to overcome this, I’ve adopted this principle: direction from the center, decisions on the ground.
Think about it like this – the global team builds the plane but must rely on the regions to fly it. I’ve found that culture context awareness is key to the success of global campaigns. Regional teams need the freedom to adopt campaigns to their local markets. Regional teams can also provide valuable feedback on shared context that ultimately enrich the brand. For example, “are campaigns getting ran alongside unfavorable news content?”
At a practical level, for example, we build centralized, shared worksheets for all paid and owned tactics across markets, to capture and learn from what is being decided locally. Every team around the world has access to this worksheet in real time. The local nuance has helped us make better strategic decisions, particularly around scale.